Hasengasse 5-7, 60311, Frankfurt am Main
The Kleinmarkthalle (Little Market Hall) is a great place to stimulate the senses. Just inside the main entrance on Hasengasse, you’re greeted by the perfume-sweet flowers of the garden shop. It’s a lovely place to peruse seed packets and dream about the Kleingarten you’ll probably never have. The smell of roasted coffee can wake you from that daydream, and then you’re further lured inside by the inviting scents from the Italian kitchen, pungent cheese counter, and an array of world spices. I’m not personally enticed by the scent of the fresh fish and meat along the “Metzgermeile” (butcher’s mile), but to each his own. (I hear the Wurst (sausage) from Metzgerei (butcher) Schreiber has a cult following and is worth the long Warteschlange (waiting line)).
You can enjoy made-to-order or prepared food at small tables along some of the aisles, or get it zum Mitnehmen (to go). I find the offerings expensive for a regular daily lunch spot, but perhaps not so for the many Frankfurters in the financial industry.
Still, I enjoy a visit nonetheless. My strategy: I get a Stück (slice, piece) from one of the Bäckerei (backeries) to nibble on as I walk through the market to avoid the temptation of buying something to sample at each stall. (In case, of course, the relatively steep prices alone are not enough to dissuade me).
I’m happy to see that their website highlights which vendors offer regionally sourced goods. If you’re intending to buy local, ask about the origins, or at least use some common sense: Bananen (bananas) and Maracuja (passionfruit) are not staples of Germany’s winter growing season. Erdbeeren (strawberries), I’m pleased to report, are a different story. Obst und Gemüse Frieser get theirs from a greenhouse operation in Southern Germany, and offers them YEAR ROUND. Their own website also lists, by season, the other produce that you can expect to find at their stall.
Langgärtners Backwerk offers further assurance that their scrumptious baked goods are nothing but local : they don’t even have a website.
What I haven’t tried yet, are the restaurants on the second floor. Hat jemand ein Tipp (does anyone have a tip)?